Abstract: Issue addressed The implications of the high cost of water on the poverty and subsequent health of Aboriginal residents in a remote community in Australia. Methods During 2003, a focus group session was held with adults at Umoona Aboriginal community in South Australia. Participants were asked to comment on key issues of concern in the provision of the domestic water supply. Results The Umoona community members in Coober Pedy identified the high cost of water and electricity as key hardship factors. Conclusions Plans under the National Water Initiative to move to full cost recovery for water and the privatisation of public utilities may result in increased hardship for low-income groups such as Aboriginal people. Utility stress (difficulties paying water, electricity, gas or telephone accounts by the due date) increases poverty and relative deprivation, both key factors in the social determinants of health. Increased community service obligations (CSO) and rebates need to be made available to all low-income groups in order to reduce the negative impact of poverty. So what? Health promotion strategies aimed at improving the health status of Aboriginal people, particularly those living in remote communities, need to take into account the complex nature of poverty in many of these communities and the subsequent negative impact this has on the ability of community members to engage in healthy living practices.
Willis, Eileen, Pearce, Meryl, McCarthy, Carmel, Jenkin, Tom, Ryan, Fiona, 2006, Utility stress as a social determinant of health: exploring the links in a remote Aboriginal community, Volume:17, Journal Article, viewed 09 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14459.